01x10 - The Boy With the Dragon Tattoo

This is the last time I spend good money on a new mattress.

They weren't even in the apartment, just the building.

Are you sure that you...

We shared a wall with bedbugs!

They're too small.

By the time you know you have them, it's too late.

Did you hear about that guy?

He started with all the itching, and then he got an infection...

Right, and then he had his hand cut off.

You heard that story?

Yes, but it's an urban myth.

But I agree. I agree.

Don't take any chances.

The exterminator comes in one hour.

I am going to stay at my cousin's in Riverdale.

When she steals her kids' Ritalin, she's really fun.

So I'll see you kids in two days.

Good luck.

Ugh!

Oh, you're looking at me like I have cooties.

You don't, do you?

No, the bedbugs were most definitely not in our apartment.

I am completely bedbug free.

Well, we'll see about that.

I'm gonna have to do a thorough physical examination.

Are you sure your roommates won't mind if I stay?

No, of course not. They love you.

But you should probably take a really hot shower and shave off all your body hair before you come over.

All of it.

You wish.

I'm serious.

Come on, dude.

woman: ♪ Running, running, running, running, running behind ♪
♪ Yeah, I'm always really running behind, yo ♪
♪ Running, running, running, running, running behind ♪
♪ Yeah, I'm always really running behind, yo ♪
♪ ♪

[laughs]

How did this happen?

Joanne from my book clu... uh, the...

I mean, that suburban book club must have started a campaign.

There's, like, over 100 of these.

Liza, do you realize what you've done?

This is real.

We have to tell Charles.

So I need those PPBs on my desk by the end of the week.

That's all I have. Any other business?

As a matter of fact, our very own Liza Miller found a book in the slush pile, and it's suddenly getting a lot of attention.

Really?

How's that?

Well... this book is incredible.

It's an epic, multigenerational tale of this Southern family.

I had an inkling it might play well in the suburban book club crowd, so I sent it to one.

After we agreed upon that strategy.

E-exactly.

I feel it's always good to keep a finger on the suburban pulse.

Yes, she does.

Anyway, as it turns out, they loved it.

They raved about it on Goodreads, and then other suburban book clubs started to read it, and now there's actually a campaign to get us to publish it.

The book is called The Scarf, and people have been sending in their scarves all morning.

I, uh... I'm impressed.

Get me a copy.

I'll read it tonight.

And we will talk in the morning.

Nice job, Liza.

And me.

Since when do you read books from the slush pile?

Um, I told you I was.

I thought you were joking.

And what on Earth made you think it was appropriate to go to Charles directly?

You girls in your 20s have absolutely no boundaries.

I'm sorry.

"I'm sorry" doesn't fix anything.

Get me a copy ASAP.

And clean up those damn scarves.

Cubicle looks like a Stevie Nicks estate sale.

Well, that can't be good.

No, no, no, no.

We are not gonna let her kill this buzz.

We're gonna go out and celebrate tonight.

Thad and I will take Josh and you out to dinner.

Oh, no, no, you don't have to do that.

Yeah, we do.

It's about time we have a proper double date anyway.

A toast to my friend and mentee Liza Miller.

Mentee?

Yeah, that's not a word.

Absolutely not a word.

To a long and successful editorial career.

You know what?

It's only a matter of time before she and I are running Empirical together.

Oh, guys, look!

The placemats list the relationship compatibility of all the signs on the Chinese zodiac.

Uh-oh.

Let's see if we're compatible, huh?

Josh: I am the Year of the Horse.

Yeah, that's what I heard.

Josh: And you're the Year of the Dragon.

Oh, no, it's not a good match.

Liza: No, no, no, we are a good match.

I'm the Year of the Ti... phoid scare of 1988, which also happens to be the Year of the Dragon.

So yup.

Oh, wow, look. Yup, it's true.

We're horrible, terrible.

Oh, we're the worst match. Oh, wow.

What you gonna do?

I don't care about what this placemat says.

I've always had a thing for dragons.

By the way, just for the record, the snake really goes with the rabbit.

Hey, just like that thing you keep by your bed.

What? You were talking about his dong.

Why can't I talk about your vibrator?

To Kelsey's vibrator.

To Kelsey's vibrator.

Yay! Oh, come on, Kelsey.

You got to give it up for that.

[chuckles] Okay, guys, night-night.

Don't you let the bedbugs...

Stop. Don't remind me.

Josh: Yo, thanks for coming to Brooklyn.

Good night, you guys.

See you next time.

Hey, can we not mention the whole bedbug thing to my roommates?

They may not know how to clean a toilet, but they will freak out about those little suckers.

Of course.

Hey, did you get your bedroom door fixed yet?

Yes, I fixed it yesterday.

Oh, thank God.

I was afraid I wasn't going to get any sleep.

You still may not get any sleep.

Mm.

man: Dude, no, no, no.

No, no, behind your back.

The guy with the machete. Come on, man!

Oh!

Ooh!

[men talking]

Wow.

Jesus.

Yo, what are you guys doing?

Hey!

Hey!

What's up, man?

Good to see you.

Good to see you.

What's up?

It's good to see you, bro.

Yeah, we got bored with Philly, so we decided to drive up here the last minute and...

Crash.

Just crash.

Nice. That's great.

Oh, and who do we have here?

This is Liza.

This is Jimmy Z. This is Ryan.

They used to live in the neighborhood.

Nice to meet you, girl.

[Liza laughs]

Yo, that's good.

So is this your new girlfriend?

Uh...

I... we're... hanging out?

Right?

Hanging out?

Yeah.

Yeah, okay.

Uh, even though, according to the Chinese zodiac, we're not even compatible.

I know, right?

What you gonna do?

I'm gonna... I'm gonna...

I'm just gonna... [clears throat]

Okay, there's a situation in that toilet.

Serious... seriously?

Come on, Du... whose is it?

Gabe was there last.

Gabe: No, Roman went in after me.

I did not! What?

Okay, it was me.

I tried flushing three times. It wouldn't go down.

I'm not a toilet wizard!

You plunge, bro, all right?

You plunge.

I'm gonna go use the restaurant bathroom downstairs.

That is a great idea.

Oh, hey, hey, will you pick up a roll of toilet paper while you're down there?

Yeah, and Imodium for my diarrhea, please.

I'll do the best I can.

I'm sorry.

It's okay.

[door closes]

Yo, that... that wasn't that weird, right?

The whole girlfriend thing?

No, that was totally weird, dude.

Yeah, it was...

Jimmy: You could not be more screwed, bro.

Really?

Yeah.

[weakly] Coffee.

Oh, my God.

You look so tired.

Ugh. I know.

Late night with Josh?

Not in a good way.

His friends drove up from Philly to vape weed and play videogames very loudly.

I don't know I'm gonna stay there another night.

Stay with Lauren and me.

Really?

Yeah.

I'm sure it'll be all right.

Oh, my God, that would be amazing.

Thank you so much.

Charles: Liza.

I took a look at The Scarf, and I found it very readable.

Really? Oh, I'm so glad.

Good eye.

Kelsey, you have my permission to contact the author and make an offer.

Excellent.

[squeaking quietly]

Meredith: So the question becomes, when did Lear's madness actually begin?

Was it after the entrance of Edgar?

Put your cell phones away, or I will cut your thumbs off.

[cell phone buzzing]

Hello?

Meredith?

Yes.

This is Liza Miller.

And Kelsey Peters.

We're calling from Empirical Press, and we have some very good news for you.

We have read your copy of The Scarf that you submitted, and we would like to make you an offer.

If you pull another stunt like this, Cece, I will see you in hell.

Liza: No, wait, this isn't Cece.

This really is Liza Miller from Empirical Press, and we really do want to publish your book.

Seriously? Yes, seriously.

We would love to meet with you in person.

How soon can you come in?

Uh... where are you?

Liza: We're Midtown.

Uh, I'm in Yonkers.

How about an hour?

Liza: That's great. See you then.

Whoo! [laughs]

Somebody wants to publish my novel.

Roll that in your Shakespeare and smoke it.

These stories were passed down in my family from generation to generation.

I always wanted to write it, but then I got married.

I got a job as a teacher.

And between grading papers and raising four kids, there was no time to write.

Yet I was determined this story must be told, so I set aside one hour a day between midnight and 1:00 A.M.

That was all I could do, but I did it!

Every day.

It took 12 long years, but, by God, I finished it.

Can I just say you are my new hero?

In my humble opinion, you could be the next Kathryn Stockett.

I mean, this could be another sleeper hit, just like The Help.

Well, that all works for me. [laughs]

That is the best feeling in the world.

[laughs]

Every once in a while, we get reminded that what we do is pretty magical.

I don't know what I'm more excited about at this point: making that woman's life or getting a good night's sleep.

Are you sure it's okay that I stay the night with you guys?

It's okay. I checked.

And you are going to love Todd and Denise.

Who are Todd and Denise?


Hey!

Hi, sweetheart.

Hello.

Hi, welcome.

Come on up, honey.

Come on up.

Todd: Get up here.

Wow, you live with Lauren's parents?

Did I not mention that?

Come on.

Todd: Get on up here. Come on.

It's my second daughter. Look at her.

Hi, honey.

You need a better coat.

Get up here!

Come on.

It's so great to finally meet you.

This is where we live. I design jewelry.

Todd has a small hedge fund.

Small? It's not that small.

It is not small, and I can attest to that.

So happy you're here.

I feel like I'm running some cool sorority house.

You can stay as long as you want.

I mean, ask her.

No, it's good. I don't mind.

I love being a den mother.

We'll get her towels.

All right, yours are the pink towels, all right?

Don't use the wrong color.

Rosa gets furious.

Rosa.

How long have you been living with Lauren's parents?

Um, two years?

Two years?

Well, it started out we were just gonna stay until we found a place.

But then we realized we're never gonna be able to live in Manhattan with our salaries.

Rosa does all of our laundry.

Denise is like the Jewish mother that I never had.

And the alternative is, well, bedbugs.

Don't make me unleash them on you.

I am their queen now.

[shrieks]

Denise: Oh, The Scarf!

I can't wait to read this.

I'm gonna give it to my friend on the Real Housewives of New York.

[gasps]

She won't read it.

I mean, she doesn't really read or see peripheral since her last eye tuck.

But she can hold it up on camera.

Oh, my God.

That would be amazing.

Right?

[scoffs]

What?

Josh.

Junk shot?

Well, I want to see.

Oh, that is his idea of sexting?

Not usually.

Well, what is it?

Piece of poop.

Ew.

Wait, wait, are you into that? No judgment.

[laughs] No.

No, it was an inside joke thing.

There was, like, a...

Ah, never mind.

Okay, you're all red.

Is Josh your boyfriend?

Uh... we're hanging out.

Hanging out? Oh, God.

What is it with... hanging out is not a thing, okay?

What is it with you girls?

It's like Tinder this, Snapchat that.

The world is not one big booty call.

And they're great together.

I keep telling her she needs to lock it down.

And I keep telling her she doesn't.

Yeah, and don't listen to her.

She will sleep with anything that moves, right?

Male, female, trans, amphibian...

That's what we should all be doing.

The world would be a far better place if everyone was polyamorous, you and dad included.

Oh, please don't put that vision in my head, all right?

It's bad enough I have to picture him having s*x with me.

Look, I'm in no rush.

And I have absolutely no interest in pressuring Josh.

Okay, then. Don't answer that text.

Right?

Let him chase you.

Men love the chase.

Promise me you're not gonna answer that text till tomorrow morning.

You're right. I won't.

I am absolutely not answering that text.

Promise?

Of course.

I don't believe you.

[laughter]

Oh.

Oh, sorry.

She has you in here?

Uh, yeah.

Okay.

You warm enough?

Yup.

Not too warm?

I will... I can open the window.

You want met to...

No, just fine.

Okay.

Do you need any water or anything?

Water...

No, I'm good.

Almond milk, soy milk, something like that?

No, thank you.

Well, I'll be right next door if you need anything, anything at all.

Okey-dokey.

Well, text from Lauren.

Denise loved you, and Todd says come back any time.

[laughs uncomfortably]

That's... that's so nice.

Oh, how cute.

Did you two walk to work together?

Actually, we had a slumber party.

[both laugh]

Funny story...

No time.

We have a meeting scheduled with Meredith Montgomery.

Oh, wait. When?

Now. I set it up.

Maybe you forgot.

I still run the marketing department.

Oh, you must be Meredith.

Diana Trout.

You wanted me in on this?

Oh, yes, this is our publisher, Charles Brooks.

I loved your book.

I think we're going to have a big success on our hands.

Thank you.

Yes, The Scarf is a compelling read.

But it was more compelling the first time it was published, as The Babushka.

I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about.

What are you talking about?

The Babushka by Anna Cleveman Daniels, a little-read book written back in the '80s about a Jewish family chronicling their five generations and the babushka they passed down.

I haven't heard of that book, so...

Oh, really?

Perhaps I can refresh your memory.

"The severity often differs, even the location of the wound. But what's never changed is the fact that he was a Russian Cossack. And my grandfather, the boy who saved his life, was the shtetl bugler."

Kelsey: Oh, my God.

That's the same first line, only more ethnic.

Shall I continue?

Do you mean the whole thing is...

A total rip-off. The story's exactly the same.

Is this true?

Uh, well, I, um... uh...

Oh, all right, you know what?

I'm sorry.

I was desperate.

I have written 13 novels.

I have tried every genre under the Sun: fairy tales, romance, vampire p0rn.

And then I just happened upon a box with some old books in a storage closet in the school library, and there it was.

The Babushka.

It has been out of print for years.

So I thought if I put my own family history in it, doesn't that count for something?

We can't make a deal on a book that's been plagiarized.

Liza? Kelsey? How'd this happen?

We used all the normal search protocols.

Well, thankfully, I dug deeper.

This could have been a problem.

So, Diana, I am thankful.

Well, you're welcome, Charles.

I apologize for letting my assistant get off her leash like that.

I am so...

Shh! Quiet.

Better luck next time.

Well, I think we're done here.

Cancel her car service.

I'll be in my office if you need me.

I'm sorry.

It's just, you start to lie, and then slowly but surely, it takes on a life of its own.

It's like you almost begin to believe it.

I wouldn't expect you to understand.

I understand more than you could know.

Was she serious about the car service?

I'm afraid so.

Oh, sh1t.

Hey.

Hey.

Welcome home, roomie.

Aw.

I missed you.

I missed you too.

No, I really missed you.

My cousin, she has sleep apnea, and she snores like a dying bear.

Please, Josh had clogged toilets in that frat house he calls an apartment, and Lauren's dad totally creeped me out.

Okay, you win. All right.

Here, let's make a toast to a bedbug-less existence.

Aw, at least I have that.

What happened?

It was a tough day at work.

That author I thought I discovered?

Turns out she's a total fraud.

Are you kidding me?

Nope, plagiarized the entire book.

The Scarf totally unraveled.

Bad pun intended.

Oh, my God, I'm so sorry, sweetie.

Yeah, well, as disappointing as it is to realize you've been championing a fraud, it's even tougher to realize you are one.

Oh, come on, now. Don't be so hard on yourself.

It's not like your lie is hurting anybody.

[moans softly]

I'm not so sure about that.

[door buzzer buzzing]

What?

Kelsey: Hey, come down here!

We're at the bar next door.

We're gonna help you liquor your wounds.

Okay.

Ugh!

Hey.

I am so sorry. Come here.

Hey, your eye was good.

And you're gonna get another book.

I ordered 14 different kinds of tequila.

So nice knowing you guys.

[laughs]

I'm sorry you got lied to.

Totally sucks.

Hey, um... [sighs]

I have to tell you something.

That's funny, because I have something to tell you too.

I need to go first.

No, just let me go first.

Josh... Just listen to me, all right?

It's been bugging me for two days.

The truth is, is I think that we're doing a little bit more than just hanging out, all right?

I... I've never really been much for words.

I'm more of a man of symbols.

Oh.

That's nice.

It's you.

It's me?

Yeah, it's a dragon.

Oh, my God, it's for your birth year.

Oh, my God.

What do you think?

I'm... Sp-speechless.

woman: ♪ Oh, why can't you be happy with me? ♪
♪ Every day we are running round ♪
♪ Trapped in our seat ♪
♪ Oh, why can't you be happy with me? ♪